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Should the resurrection of Jesus be considered one of the “signs” of the Gospel?  Why or why not?  (This is not asking if the resurrection is important to Christianity.)

To understand if the resurrection of Jesus could be considered a sign, or not, begins with the definition of a sign. A sign is; “something material or external that stands for or signifies something spiritual; something indicating the presence or existence of something else” (signs of success or a sign of the times)[1] After Christ resurrected, He took the time to show Himself too many individuals, including Thomas. Jesus’ nail scared hands and pierced side was obviously a sign to Thomas, because as Dr. Towns states, “Thomas was in doubt, so Jesus invited Thomas to inspect the marks of the crucifixion using the same language that Thomas had used earlier affirming his unbelief.”[2] Therefore, Jesus was showing Thomas signs so he may believe.

Leon Morris states, “When Jesus spoke to Martha after her brother Lazarus died ,He told her that Lazarus would rise, which she took as a reference to the resurrection of the last day. Jesus then said to her, I AM the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, even if he dies, he will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will certainly not die eternally.”[3]The whole power to restore, impart, and maintain life, resides in Me.” (See on Jn 1:4; Jn 5:21). What higher claim to supreme divinity than this grand saying can be conceived?”[4] The answer; none! As Thomas there was some confusion, doubt, and unbelief, as to when Lazarus would be raised. After Jesus performed this sign, many believed in Jesus. (John 11:45) As Jesus would later be crucified and risen from the dead, the purpose—not only to Thomas—but to everyone is so that many would believe and live!

In conclusion, can we consider Jesus’ resurrection a sign? Absolutely, “It is remarkable that on each of the three occasions on which our Lord raised the dead, a large number of persons were assembled. In two instances, the resurrection of the widow’s son and of Lazarus, these were all witnesses of the miracle; in the third (of Jairus’ daughter) they were necessarily cognizant of it.”[5] If we consider the previous resurrections signs, then we cannot deny the fact that Jesus’ resurrection is a sign as well, so many may believe!

Bibliography

Jamieson, R, A. R Fausset, and D Brown. Commentary: Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. Oak Harbor, 1997.

Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, 2003.

Morris, Leon. Jesus is the Christ. Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1989.

Towns, Elmer L. The Gospepl of John: Believe and Live. Chattanooga: AMG, 2002.


[1] Merriam-Webster, I. (2003). Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. (Eleventh ed.). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc.

[2] Towns, Elmer L. The Gospepl of John: Believe and Live. Chattanooga: AMG, 2002. 207.

[3] Morris, Leon. Jesus is the Christ. Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1989. 117.

[4] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Jn 11:25). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[5] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Jn 11:45–46). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

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